Friday, April 20, 2018

Encounter - a watercolor painting

Young Gray Fox exploring. I watched him when I was camped at Madera Canyon - in the morning he went about his business quite unconcerned, doing his toilet from stretching, yawning, scratching and preening to well, everything... but he was petrified when the Tarantula walked by. To pounce or not to pounce?

The Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is widespread throughout North and Central America. In the eastern US the Gray Fox seems to be loosing territory to the dominant Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes). In Arizona Gray Foxes are holding their own, together with their smaller cousins, the Kit Foxes. Red Foxes are only found in the north eastern corner of the state. 
Gray Foxes are small agile canines that can even climb trees. Their diet consists mainly of rabbits, rodents, birds, reptiles and fruit, but in dry western areas like Utah's canyon land and the southwestern deserts,  arthropods are the main component of a rather omnivorous menu. He could probably tackle the tarantula but in this case, the young hunter just stood back and watched.

I know gray foxes occur in the open desert, but I imagine that they appreciate some cool canyons and lusher vegetation more. So I gave that to my guy when I tried to make the light source more obvious and enhance the contrast to give the painting more interest. Did it work?

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